Wednesday, February 21

Sad fruit, giant pandas and a host of birthday joy – take the Thursday quiz | life and style

Unbelievably the Thursday quiz is one year old this week. One whole year! As usual, it consists of 15 questions that are either general knowledge or vaguely topical – but maybe with a little more of a birthday twist. I originally pitched it with the words: “I think we should start it next week, and then if after five weeks it looks like it is going well, I will make the next batch.”

I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the quiz, and especially those of you who have joined in so regularly and joyfully in the comments. I hope you have fun today, but remember, there are no prizes. Let us know how you get on.

The Thursday quiz, No. 53

one.MUSIC: As it is a birthday edition, we will start with a birthday question. Which album by the Beatles features the track Birthday?

two.ALSO HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND ALSO MUSIC: It is Kim Gordon’s birthday today. Happy birthday Kim! But which iconic American alternative rock band did she brilliantly play guitar and bass for?

3.AN EXERCISE BICYCLE FOR THE MIND: It would have been beloved author Terry Pratchett’s birthday today too. We miss you Terry. How many Discworld novels by him have been published?

Four.THE PLAY’S THE THING: What are the names of the two mysterious men who turn up in Harold Pinter’s 1967 play The Birthday Party?

5.SCIENCE CORNER BUT WITH PANDAS: Which of these families of mammals do giant pandas belong to?

6.TUTTI FRUTTI: Which world leader was inexplicably greeted in Japan by some mournfully dancing kiwi fruit last week?

7.SECRETS OF THE STARS: A six mile sculpture trail that models the solar system to scale called Our Place in Space is opening where in the UK?

8.A BIG SURPRISE: That’s a 1977 Sparks song where ‘It’s boy meets girl and here we go once again’. But that’s not important right now. ‘One-eyed Joe’, a Scottish cat that went missing for five years, was reunited with his owner after being found where?

9.STOP THIEF!: It was also Shakespeare’s birthday at the weekend, and as a lovely present, an academic presented new research claiming that the bard had stolen the plot of which play from a now-lost play by Sir Thomas North?

10.THE LIVES OF SAINTS: Saint Andrew is a patron saint of Barbados, Georgia, Cyprus and Scotland among other places. But traditionally what did he do before becoming one of the disciples of Jesus?

eleven.FIBONACCI NUMBERS: First described in Indian mathematics, and forming a sequence where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, F₁₀ is 55. 55 is a triangular number. Which of these definitions BEST describes a triangular number?

12.WHY THE LONG FACE?: A horse’s respiratory system is described as demonstrating ‘obligate nasal breathing’. What does that mean?

13.MINISTRY OF SCILLY LONG WALKS: Residents on the Isles of Scilly face a difficult, expensive and long journey for a vital public service now after it was announced the very last WHAT on the island was closing?

14.AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS: The Wikivoyage website lists 23 locations visited by fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s novel, none of them by hot air balloon. No 13 is Yokohama, Japan. But which year did Yokohama Stadium host the Rugby World Cup Final?

fifteen.AND FINALLY… SOME OLD NEWS: What was the lead story in the Guardian on the day the Thursday quiz first appeared, 29 April 2021?

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email [email protected], but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and he would also like to thank the production staff for helping him avoid many, many more errors along the way.

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